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Neven wrote:

Could this perhaps offset the Arctic growth that is inevitable in the coming week?

In the Bering sea temperatures are down again to about -20 °C now, so it well could be.


Werther remarked:

8K open polynia's in the Ob and Yenisei mouths. Those don't even show on CT and Uni Bremen...

Be aware the Bremen maps still are from yesterday (13 February).

And yes, we shouldn't wonder, as we have a brand new anomaly in that region. At 18:00 h, at Franz Josef Land, temperature suddenly has risen to -8 °C.
Look for the link to the weather station at F.J.Land under the "Barentsz and Kara" thread.

No way to sort it out at the ECMWF charts for now...

Chris Biscan

The Dipole Anomaly has started to form.

The UB Graphs for the 14th compared to the 13th show the affects already.


Werther remarked:

8K open polynia's in the Ob and Yenisei mouths. Those don't even show on CT and Uni Bremen...

We can see these heat polynya on the 14th Feb chart now. As well as a reconstructing one at the East side of Franz Josef Land.


Thanks for the numbers, crandles. No new record this time. :-)


The ecmwf chart to day (15 Feb) is more conclusive.

There is a low depression core exactly above the Baltic sea and a high depression zone in the middle of the Atlantic, with it's core about at the lattitude of Paris.

In between a mixt of warm subtropical air and cold Polar air masses is squized down to the Alps, to return from there back to the North. Right over the White Sea, Nova Zembla, the estuaria of the great rivers and even Franz Josef Land.

According to the ecmwf charts this situation may hold at least to 26th of February, and even expand.
Well, according to previsions the temperature at Svalbard will rise again to - 4 °C from Friday on.

Anomalies aren't finished yet. :-)


Talking of polynias... Can anyone explain the persistent lower ice concentrations off NW Greenland??? Earlier in the freeze-up there was often ice concentrations below 50% and it is still a weak area off the ice.


Hi politijef, I believe this is the North Water Polynya:

The North Water Polynya is a recurrent polynya at the northern end of Baffin Bay. As part of the International North Water Project, recording current meters were moored within this polynya during 1997–98 to study the physical reasons for its existence. The data demonstrate that the North Water Polynya is dominated by a strong southward flow of cold water and ice from the Arctic Ocean. Although the West Greenland Current directs a modest flow of warmer water towards the polynya from the south‐east, this flow loses much of its heat south of the polynya through re‐circulation into and isopycnal mixing with the Arctic outflow. If an ice jam stops the inflow of ice from the north, the continued drift of ice southward ‘below’ the blockage is sufficient to create a large polynya without oceanic heating. However, upwelling near the Greenland coast can bring relatively warm water to the base of the turbulent surface layer where it is entrained via convection driven by brine growing from ice. The resulting flux of sensible heat supplies about one‐third of the heat loss at the surface and slows ice growth. Because the sensible heat flux is dependent upon freezing, it decreases as ice growth slows in spring and cannot, itself, generate ice‐free waters early in the year.

Hi Neven,

I'd been considering posting a question about that patch of open water for a week or so. That's a great answer, thanks.

At risk of opening a can of worms...

As I set about researching things elsewhere on the internet, I have several times come across articles or reviews from the site "CO2 Science", which would seem to be relevent here. Most recently, for example:


The data looks quite interesting, but IMO the conclusions drawn are so misleading - one could even suspect, deliberately so - that I end up just forgetting it and passing on.

Today comes news that "CO2 Science" is the primary beneficiary of the Heartland Institute's generosity.

As, in other areas, they HI confess to a deliberate policy to "undermine" science. And to "dissuade teachers from teaching science"... well, I could go on, but only at risk of clogging this blog with off-topic libels.

A heads-up: "CO2 Science"... Be very skeptical.


Thanks, Neven. That's great!


When I saw that North Water Polynya last year for the first time, I also went: "Huh, what's that?" I thought about writing a blog post about it, but never did.


Thanks for the heads-up of the Polnya. I always think I learn somethink on your blog. Today it was isopycnal! http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/isopycnal


idunno, there was a time when I found it interesting to compare CO2science articles to the original paper. It got boring after a while and I wondered why someone would do such a thing. I read today that it pays 11,600 USD a month...

Artful Dodger

NOW Polynya from Youtube (7:33)


BTW, the "Northern Open Water" is indirect proof of warmer subsurface water in Baffin Bay. Submarine geology forces bottom water to the surface as the current flows Northward in Winter.



Hi all,

Alaska oil well blows:


Don't worry, the Texans are coming!


Arctic increases to subsequent maximum from day 0.126 for last 10 years are

giving min max and average projections for the maximum of

so not yet ruling out a record minimum below 13.144

For antarctic decreases to subsequent minimum from day 0.1233 for last 10 years are

giving min max and average projections for the minimum of


7 of last 10 minimums were below the smallest projection.
3 of last 10 minimums were above the highest projection.


There is an interesting BBC article this morning claiming in regard to Canadian scientist and media relations, that the government is "muzzling" scientist interviews and media access.



We are entering an interesting oscillation pattern that has not realigned yet. While AO has gone positive, temperature anomalies still reflect warm temperatures in the Arctic.

AO: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao_index.html

Global temp anomaly Feb 17: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/fnl/sfctmpmer_01a.fnl.gif

Arctic/NH temp anomaly Feb 15


I've edited that last link, Apocalypse4Real.

BTW, how do you get that large daily composite?


I would think it is from


Scale plot size (%) 250 is nice and big.

You can do multiple days eg first 10 days of Feb:


Scale plot size (%)

Well, what do you know. Learned something new again. Thanks, crandles (and A4R).


No Hint of Arctic Ozone Hole - yet.

According to the ESA TEMIS data, there is no indication of ozone problems in the Northern Hemisphere at this point. We will see what March-April brings.

Feb 2012 maps:


March 2011 maps:



CT reports a SIA increase of 34K for the 17th. Increases seem to be slowing down, but I don't think it will stay below 13 million km2. Record will be difficult too. For that there will have to be a couple of decreases to slow things down. I'm seeing a set up on ECMWF that will probably cause big decreases in Bering and Okhotsk, but a big low moving over Kara that will really put those warm waters to the test.

Meanwhile spring seems to have started in my part of (Central) Europe. Minus 15 degrees C two weeks ago, 8 degrees C today, 14 degrees C forecasted for next week. Better get the compost heap and spinach seeds ready. ;-)


Winds from south into Kara / Barentsz won't test those warm waters like a wind from the North would. They also blow warm water towards the pack.

More increases at Baffin/Newfoundland seem possible though with lows bringing cold winds from North. So we might slowly drift above record low by 5 days time when the winds are predicted to start to hammer Bering and Othotsz.

(Following pattern of 2007 we get a record of 13.06 but pattern of other 9 of last ten years would not give a record.)


Hi all,

As per the 30 years average, global sea ice area should be at its lowest on tha last reported day - 2012.1288.


Antarctic minimum usually clusters in range .1398 to .1589 with just one exception in last 10 years; namely 2006 at .1753.

Does free floating ice island mean the minimum will be late? How long will island survive? Will minimum be when this island has melted?


We have a very small drop in CT SIA reported for the 18th (only half a K). Still under 13 million km2.

L. Hamilton

Also, DMI SIA for 2/19 stepped back 20k.
It remains higher than the 2011 max, however.



Antarctic SIA was 2.05 million sqkm on Day 48, well above the figure for 2011 (1.81 million), and slightly above 2010 (1.997 million). In fact, you have to go back to 2008 to find a value above this year(2.26 million at the same date. In that year (2008), the SIA minimum was as high 2.17 million and was reached on Day 51.
It looks like 2012 is going to be a high minimum year just like 2008. But there doesn't seem to be any visible trend up or down with Antractic sea ice.


Yes, this killed any chance of a new global SIA minimum record. Thanks for the numbers, Phil. I'll do a post on this tomorrow.



Yes, there is very little scope for minimum to be different from the bit above average that is stated in my earlier:

"7 of last 10 minimums were below the smallest projection.
3 of last 10 minimums were above the highest projection."
(now only 6 below and 3 above)

Regarding trends, particularly visible ones, Larry did a nice cycle plot for antarctic area where the upwards trends were apparent.

Knowing the minimum will be above average with little uncertainty doesn't IMHO mean we cannot muse on when the minimum will occur which is what my last post was about. Sorry if keeping date in digital years confused what I was on about.

Chris Biscan


Jaxa shows Bering ice shrinking some, Kara, Barents, Arctic Basin lose more ice.


Is the DMI a glitch?


Peter Ellis

Yep, data drop-out around Hudson Bay. See the source image here:


Area data is early today. 13.014m so no record maximum below 13m this year while new record low remains an unlikely possibility.

Janne Tuukkanen

DMI's Arctic daily mean temperature graph looks as interesting as last winter. Anyone knows, if there's multi year anomaly version of the graph? Like CT's "Tale of the tape."


Hi all,

Spring must be drawing near, as Patrick Lockerby is bestirring himself from his customary hibernation:


Climate Progress has NASA'S take on land-based ice disappearing:



Hi all,

50k fall in the Arctic sea ice anomaly today = a new lowest maximum gets slightly more likely.

Interesting little patch of low-concentration ice just off North East Water in Greenland - reminiscent of the large hole that developed there last year.

Satellite images in the visible light wavelengths should be available from the area in the next several days.

Chris Biscan


L. Hamilton

Nice animation, Chris. It's cool to see the morning race north.


Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we're within two weeks of maximum Arctic ice area, and we're 122M sq km shy of the previous CT record for lowest max.


Nice work, Chris. It seems we're getting some extra late winter ice transport through Fram.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we're within two weeks of maximum Arctic ice area, and we're 122M sq km shy of the previous CT record for lowest max.

Welcome, Shortfatape. Yes, we're looking at an exciting end of the freezing season.

Bob Wallace

Looking at the ARC flow chart - is there a current or prevailing wind pattern that holds the ice against Iceland once it makes it through the Fram Straight? Is it getting 'centrifuged'?

Why doesn't it get dispersed toward Europe?

Is it the case that any ice that wanders east simply gets melted?

The same phenomenon seems to be operating on ice coming through the Davis and into the Labrador Sea.



is working again :)

Mark Kosir

Hi all,

Just surfing a bit on the graphs page, and noticed winter 2011-2012 seems to be setting a record...

As per graphs, since 1958 daily mean temps appear to have set a record for number of days consistently above the mean. I dont have the time it takes to drill down to the exact number of days, but seems to be around 95 days running. Amazing!


Mark wrote:

2011-2012 seems to be setting a record...

To me it looks like the anomaly in 2006 was even bigger.

Nevertheless, more important is that ever since 2005 the temperature anomaly is high above average.
7 years in succession have given us the phenomenum we are looking at now.


Mark, doesn't 2007 have a longer period above mean from around day 220 to about day 355?

Mark Kosir

crandles - yep 2007 has a longer period, tho I was zeroing in on winter season temps...

and Kris, hmm, ur right 2006 does "kick it" with a huge temp anomaly in January, but for duration its short lived (consecutive temps for winter 2005-2006 seem to be around 80ish days in total duration above mean.

Chris Biscan



On searching analogies in the past...
To have a shot at what’s coming, I have compared 2012 NH configuration to earlier years.
Like Janne Tuukkanen, I ‘m pretty impressed with the DMI graph ‘temps over 80 dN’ since October last year. The only season comparable was 2004-2005. Up to day 60 that season was even a degree warmer than the one we’re in now. But it was followed by a crunch to normal during march. Will that happen again? I doubt it. That season, AO changed from positive to enduring negative in spring. The geopotential anomalies on 500 mb mid-higher troposphere were configured very different. Then, an anomaly ‘bulge’ was over the East Greenland Sea. Now it’s consistently on the Kara side. The stuck ‘low’ on the Bering side doesn’t show during 04-05. There is no indication the general configuration will benefit colder weather over the Arctic, like during march 2005.
My musings on this since September last year sum up to these questions:
1. Is winter thickness recovery generally low through all of this?
2. Is it ‘just’ the Atlantic Interdecadal Oscillation or ‘treshold surplus’ methane making the difference?


Well found, Chris..
"The role of Barents Sea ice on the wintertime cyclone track and emergence of a warm-Arctic cold-Siberian anomaly": by Inoue, Hori, Takaya
Looks like the prof’s are right on track. Their interest is primarily to make better weather prognoses on a regional scale. But between their lines you can figure out there’s a clear AGW signal in these patterns.


The Northeast Water (NEW)Polynya ripped open yesterday just south of Nord.

Fram flow flowing far 2 fast for freeze-up.


And Novaya Zemlya can be seen for the first time today in its entirety on LANCE-MODIS.


Eyeballing the regions that springs’ sun has revealed last days, I feel our concerns on the state of the ice are justified.
The Kara, Laptev and East Siberian Sea were frozen over much stronger last year. They’re full of cracks and leads now. Through young ice in them, the area counts as 90-100% on CT and UB. But greyish colouring hints at thin ice, even on what looks like solid floes.
It looks very mobile, free from the fast ice everywhere. Things seem better going near Wrangel Island, the Chukchi Sea.



Talking about "anomalies",on the invaluable


select "Arctic" and look at the Canadian archipel.

While everything in the close neughbourhood is between -35 °C till -45 °C, Mould Bay (St Patricks Island) is at -7 °C. On 20-21-22 the max temperature even was possitive there.
Quite staggering, isn't it? These phenomena is explained by the volcanic activity on that island:


A few 100 km to the East a second anomaly can be noted: the "Nicholson Peninsula".

No leads to the "why" though.


L. Hamilton

From the Department of Random Statistics:
although CT North area on 2/24/2012 is slightly above what it was on 2/24/2005, 2006 or 2011, the 2/1-24/2012 mean remains, by a thin margin, the lowest on record.

Peter Ellis

Kris: So far as I'm aware, Prince Patrick Island is not volcanic. The only references to volcanism on the island are this Disney film and the book it was based on (itself drawing on an old Jules Verne novel).

I think a bust sensor is more likely!

Kevin McKinney

I was thinking that Kris was joking about the volcanes...

Kevin McKinney

Of interest, though tragic:



The sun reaches 15 degrees above horizon for points on arctic circle sometime pretty soon now doesn't it. That is entrance to white sea, so not yet geting much insolation to southern Barents or Kara seas. About another 9 or 10 days to reach southernmost point of Kara Sea.


Peter Ellis wrote:

I think a bust sensor is more likely

Indeed, as Wunderground.com is giving more believable figures:


Albeit I rather believe Ogimet has mangled stations (71072 which nowhere else can else be found).


As you may already have read the Greenpeace demo re. Arctic drilling is over, but they seem well pleased with all the international publicity they got:

And tonight on TV we have the final episode of BBC's Frozen Planet = the climate change episode.
What a spectacular program it has been!

Hopefully some viewers may make the connection?!

Clare in New Zealand


Another sobering view of Arctic temp anomalies for 7, 30, 90, 180 and 365 days in one spot:



In comparing 2012 to other years in a variety of metrics, we have had some comments about how to compare - for the 80N Temperature, 2007 has the longest run, 2005 (I think it was) has the greatest anomaly. Its a common problem with time series. I found myself thinking of "degree days" (an actual metric I've seen on climate sites) - a 2 degree anomaly for 10 days = 20 degree days, but so does a 4 degree anomaly for 5 days and so on. It's useful for examinining prolonged hot / cold spells, triggers for planting or ripening etc. I'm working on extracting that data from the 80N Temperature charts to provide another way of comparing those years. Slow going, but I'll post in due course.

But then I realised you could apply the same logic to the CT Area anomaly, and since the data is readily available, its a simple task to analyse. But instead of degree days, the metric would be million sq km days. A 6 day period with a -1.5 million sq km anomaly translates to -9 million sq km days. However, M.sq.km.d is a very clunky unit, so it needs an SI unit name. I propose the "Neven" (Symbol Nv). Assuming our host consents...

When we look at the CT graph we see the usual time series problem - 2006 has the greatest anomaly to this point of the year, but does the whole dataset say it was the worst year? Well, no.

As at Day 56 / 25th Feb / 0.1534 yr, the greatest YTD accumulated anomalies are as follows:

2011 -62.098 Nv (ie an average daily anomaly of -1.109 M sq km)
2006 -53.847 Nv
2010 -50.777 Nv
2012 -49.157 Nv
2007 -46.582 Nv
2005 -45.976 Nv
(No other year has accumulated more than 33 Nv by Day 56)

2011 is well out in front, and pending 2012 data, will remain so until quite late, getting passed by 2007 only on Day 300 / 27th Oct / 0.8219 (ie quite a while after the SIA minimum).

For the full calendar year,
2007 -468.662 Nv
2011 -457.426 Nv
2010 -383.732 Nv

I also looked at a 12 month trailing average - the worst ever periods were the 12 months leading up to:
2007.8794 (17-11-07): average of -1.300 Nv
2011.8767 (16-11-11): average of -1.283 Nv
(and of course the slopes down to and up from those points).

The current mark of -1.218 Nv is in the bottom 3%, having been exceeded for two periods of ~150 days in 2007-08 and 2011-12 (bracketting the points above).

Reflecting the fact that 2011 was a bit worse than 2012, this measure is currently rising at a rate 200 micronevens per day. For comparison, the fastest rate this metric typically changes is in the range of 2 - 2.5 millinevens per day. 2012 fell behind 2011 early, but is actually tracking quite similarly now (even if it doesn't look it to the naked eye) .

Oh, I should add that I simply dropped Feb 29 data for leap years for the sake of simplicity.


>"However, M.sq.km.d is a very clunky unit, so it needs an SI unit name. I propose the "Neven" (Symbol Nv). Assuming our host consents..."

Wonderful. :-D

But 'day' is not an SI unit so surely it becomes a non-SI unit? ;o)


I propose the "Neven" (Symbol Nv). Assuming our host consents...

Well, it's not every day that my name refers to an anomaly, although most people who know me would agree it's appropriate. It's too bad the cool units like Volt, Ampère and Kelvin have all been taken, but I'll settle for this. Thanks, Frank. :-)


ECMWF is showing a big high taking over the Barents/Kara regions 5 from days from now, with a big low doing its thing in the Bering/Okhotsk region. If this forecast comes about I think we will have our CT SIA maximum around March 5th.


Neven wote:

ECMWF is showing a big high taking over the Barents/Kara regions 5 from days from now


Are you sure? To me it looks more like a second low pressure core ...

Anyway, yesterday the temperature at Svalbard was between -2 °C and -5 °C (avarage is -12 °C à -17 °C !).
And according to the predictions it should develop into +2 °C till -9 °C for the next 5 days. Sunday even from +5 °C till -3 °C.

OTOH Baffin Bay, New Found Land and the Hudson Bay have temperatures far below normal, as well as the North of Alaska (Barrow, Bering street, Bering Sea till the lattitude of Nome more or less).

Ma come sempre, vedremo!


Are you sure? To me it looks more like a second low pressure core

When I press 120h I'm seeing an H with 1030 on the inner isobar. It expands in the following days and covers the whole Barentsz/Kara areas.

I'm not sure it will come about though!


Neven wrote:

t expands in the following days and covers the whole Barentsz/Kara areas


That might happen on the 5th of March, but till then low pressure rules there, at least according to ecmwf...

Nevertheless that would suck warmer air at the Western side of Svalbard into the Pole region. But bring a deep freeze again to Finland, Poland and the European part of Russia, from Saint-Petersburg to the Ural. Winter isn't over yet. :-)


As at OGImet the data about ("vulcanic") Saint-Patricks Island have been corrected we can assume someone in Spain is reading this blog too.

The station number is 71989 (instead of the wrong 71072) and the station itself is giving now believable figures.

Kevin McKinney

Very bad news for data collection in the high Arctic:



I think we can be pretty sure that antarctic minimum is
2012.1506 1.9629650
now that we are more than 116k higher at 2.07918. Maybe a bit more of that island will melt but antarctic is fairly smooth in transitioning to freeze season unlike the noisy arctic.

Timothy Chase

At the moment I would say that it is unlikely we are going to have severe ozone loss in the Northern Hemisphere this spring. What would be needed is a strongly positive Arctic Oscillation for the formation of polar stratospheric clouds prior to dawn. For the month of February 2011 we had 1.58. This year it looks more like 0.06, give or take.

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